Monday, December 14, 2015

Felicity Separates

Here is the first Felicity I made.  I already blogged my second version here.  I love this outfit and wore it a lot all summer. 
 I used a red polka dot grey chambray from Gertie's line for Joann's.  I like it, but it does love to wrinkle.  I finished the edges and trimmed the skirt waistband with purchased red bias tape.  I don't recall which size I made, but I followed the sizing chart. 

The twirly circle skirt is really fun and surprisingly perfect for biking. 

 Surprise!  It's separates.  I made the bodice first as a wearable muslin after my first true muslin and an FBA.  Then it came out so well,  I decided to make up the matching skirt. 

I love that they are separates.  I like the skirt with a black or navy T-shirt.  The top is cute with the shorts from my last post.  The red and grey reversible bag from that pot is perfect with it, too. 
Here's a flat shot to show the polka dots. 
I love this pattern, and I expect to make it man more times.  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chataigne Shorts

 Hello, blog!  Before I got completely consumed by school this summer, I did quite a bit of summer sewing.  I'm on a short vacation on Kauai right now, camera in hand, so I figure it's a great opportunity to blog some of these old projects.  
First up, I have my first pair of Chataigne Shorts from Deer and Doe and another Maria of Denmark Kimono Tee, modified like my last one.  Here's some photos, front, side, and back: 

I used a red, bottom-weight cotton for the shorts and an anchor print jersey for the shirt, both from Joann's.  I made the shorts so long ago, the details are fuzzy.  I don't recall which size I made, but I do believe I had to bring in the back waistband.  I also added patch pockets under the flaps in the back.  In future iterations I extended the inseam a bit right at the crotch, front and back.  This pair is perfect once they stretch out with some wear, but they are a bit tight up in there right out of the wash. 

I also made a matching beach bag out of the same red cotton and some grey from my stash.  It's a free pattern from Very Purple Person.  I really like this bag, and I've made it several times now. 
 Yep, reversible -- here's the grey color.
 Here's some flat shots of the shorts.  I apologize that they are completely un-ironed.  Vacation.  Also, I meant to crop my feet out of these photos, oh well.  The contrast lining for the yoke and pockets is from an old shirt that could not be salvaged as a shirt but had nice embroidered fabric.  Maybe you can't tell, but I got the point on the yoke nice and even, thanks to Leah.  I picked this pattern specifically to practice the V yoke for one of the looks in my collection.  On the shirt I cut the neck a little deeper and gathered it with some pretty buttons. 

 And here it all is out in the wild.  Aloha!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Felicitous Photo Shoot

 I made a Felicity Dress by Jennifer Lauren Vintage.  It's actually the second version I've made of this pattern.  I just happened to get some quick photos when I went to a Pacific Northwest Ballet studio rehearsal with my dad. 

I used a polyester peachskin from my stash.  I don't know how a synthetic snuck in there, but I love the print, and I didn't feel too precious about it if the dress didn't come out well.  Ahhh, stash...

 I've realized a clear pattern in my acquisition of crafting supplies.  Back when I first started to knit, I got very excited.  I loved to envision beautiful projects, and then I'd get started with the first step -- buying supplies.  Then I'd get nervous.  I'd feel that I didn't have the skills to accomplish my vision, that I'd be wasting the lovely materials and creating garbage.  So... I'd buy a different yarn to use.  And repeat.  I know, it's so silly!  It's especially silly with knitting because you can always frog and reuse the yarn.  Now I'm finally at a place in my knitting life where I can make anything I envision.  It feels great, and I'm working through the huge stash I've acquired.
I'm looking forward to achieving the same proficiency and confidence in my sewing.  See the fit on the Felicity bodice?  Yay!  I'm really happy with the FBA adjustment from Jennifer Lauren's blog.
This long-stashed poly was actually very easy to work with once I starched the heck out of it.  I rely on this trick frequently to give me confidence with slippery fabrics.  It's trimmed with store-bought bias tape. 
Terrible picture, but it's the only one that showed the whole dress.
I made a few changes to this version of Felicity.  I lowered the neckline after my first muslin by cutting it and transferring the new  line to my pattern pieces.  I cut the bodice on the bias to play with the stripes, and I used a gathered rectangle for the skirt.  You can't tell, but I included in-seam pockets.  I love cutout backs, so I made a simple modification to the back bodice.  I'm really happy with how my idea turned out!
I'm sorry these photos are so crappy, blurry, and unflattering...  I don't have a real camera.  It's a serious deterrent to my blogging efforts.  But I like the idea of blogging, so here you go.
I wore Felicity with my newly finished Acer cardi.  This is another item from materials I've had for a long time, both the yarn and the pattern.  I used the lovely Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed, a blend of 85% wool/10% silk/5% cashmere.  I made my usual modifications to fit me and to knit it seamlessly.  This is the most cropped cardigan I've made, ending right at my waist.  I really like it, and it used hardly any yarn. 

Here's a final shot of my accessories and a picture of my crazy braid.  Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ski Sweater Stash Bust

Here's another wintery knit that I've been wearing all the time.  It's the classic Elizabeth Zimmerman round-yoke sweater formula with my usual hip/bust/waist shaping and an experiment with the neckline.

I wanted to really curve the fairisle yoke into a flattering frame for my face rather than allow it to settle in a horizontal line across my broad shoulders.   To achieve this effect I set aside all the front neckline stitches above the bust (just after attaching the sleeves) and worked short rows in one stitch steps to build up the back and across the arms to the recommended half-way point.  Then I picked up all my stitches, made my first set of decreases, and started the fairisle yoke.  I just made it up as I went and used scraps from my stash.  I love how it turned out!

I've been skiing in this sweater all the time and enjoying several compliments.  I love wool.  :)

P.S. Thank you, Tom, for taking these nice photos for me!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The lovely Hetty

 Before winter abandons the Northwest completely (Did she ever really arrive this year?), I'd like to show you the sweet snow queen of my lacy cardi collection.  Yes, she'll work as a frosting over spring dresses for a few more months, but she is Warm.  Hey, Alpaca.  And she's sooooft, with a halo of luxury.  I love her!

This is Andi Satterlund's pattern, Hetty, knit in the Indecita Alpaca that I import from Peru.  I especially like to knit Andi's patterns because she's in my neighborhood knitting group.  She's such a talented knitter!

 Because I adore cables in cream, I couldn't resist adding my own twist to Andi's design.  Since Hetty is knit from the top down, I worked the pattern as written until casting on stitches for the neck.  Ok... sorry, actually, I rarely follow instructions.  This is why I don't test knit.  I fudged all the shaping, roughly moving the arm hole inwards and scooping the neckline much lower. 

When I cast on for the front neckline, I always add extra stitches to accommodate my mountainous topography.   In this case, instead of simply adding repeats of the Hetty lace pattern, I used the extra stitches to incorporate a 2x2 cable down each front edge.

Hetty then got my usual shaping over the bust with short rows and side shaping.  In this construction, after the short rows, I just needed decreases below the apex to reduce the stitch count I cast on at the front neck.   I maintained the side-"seam" decreases to whittle my waist circumference with 4" negative ease.
 My original intention had been to only add the two vertical cables along the button bands.  I think that also would have been very lovely.  If I knit another Hetty, I'll do just that.  However, I got excited about the lovely cream cables and decided to add more.  Ah, cables!  Cables are my favorite thing to knit. 

To create the wide cabled band, I put all the body stitches on a holder except for one of the cabled panels.  Really, just leave all those stitches on their needle and grab a new needle for the little cabled panel.  Ok, really, I just did it all on one needle, but... It makes more sense to think about all the body stitches being on hold while you work the bottom band across them in the perpendicular direction.
So, anyhow.  I worked just the one cabled front panel, plus and extra stitch added for selvage, down to the desired length of the cardigan. Then I picked up stitches for the cable panel through the selvage stitch.  I believe I picked up the right number for just the cables and then increased immediately to create the 2-stitch purl columns between them.  This was to compensate for the compression from cabling.  As I worked each row, I'd K2tog (or could have been SSK depending on direction, don't recall) the last stitch together with a stitch from the body.  In this way I worked the band across all the body stitches until I reached the other front cabled panel.  In the last row of the band I decreased all the purl stitches to match the first side.  Finally, I worked that remaining front cabled panel down, using a decrease to combine the last stitch with a stitch from the band until I reached the end and bound off. 

I then picked up and knit all the ribbed trim as usual, including along the bottom of the cabled band.

What else can I say?  How about the buttons?  Choosing the buttons for my Hetty was a fun challenge.  I'd initially envisioned inconspicuous cream buttons, but all the contenders I found were too white and made my cardi look dirty in comparison.  I considered wood or metal buttons but found the effect to be too Hansel and Gretel.  I'd nearly conceded to the alternative of contrast buttons when I found The Perfect Buttons for my sweetheart.  I think they give a lovely vintage aesthetic and allow Hetty to pair with a variety of outfits.